Aerospace and defense technology company Northrop Grumman unveiled a high-tech dune-buggy that astronauts may use once they return to the lunar surface.
Northrop Grumman is designing an unpressurized Lunar Terrain Vehicle (LTV) to transport NASA's Artemis astronauts across the lunar surface. NASA created the Artemis program during the Trump administration, intending to have the first woman and first person of color on the moon between 2024-2025 but come to find out this month, NASA's Office of the Inspector General said the landing event will probably take place several years after 2024.
"Together with our teammates, we will provide NASA with an agile and affordable vehicle design to greatly enhance human and robotic exploration of the lunar surface to further enable a sustainable human presence on the Moon and, ultimately, Mars," said Steve Krein, vice president, civil and commercial space, tactical space systems division, Northrop Grumman.
Not much is known about LTV regarding the specific design and capabilities for potential use in the Artemis program. Northrop Grumman partnered with propulsion system specialist AVL, space products provider Intuitive Machines, space technology company Lunar Outpost, and tire expert Michelin to help design the LTV.
NASA has turned to the commercial industry for the LTV. The space agency put out a call in August requesting LTV designs from U.S. companies. The request stated that a lunar rover must be electric-powered and survive the moon's surface for at least a decade.